St. Vincent and the Grenadines owes EC$ 155.23 million under PetroCaribe, Venezuela’s oil initiative that allows countries to buy oil and keep part of the payment as a multi-decade loan.
“The amount owed is 155.23 million dollars. I repeat again, this talk of almost a billion dollars is just simply, absolutely rubbish,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said.
“Under PetroCaribe, we only get the fuel for the power stations. When the prices were higher two years ago, we imported about 70 million dollars worth. Now the prices are somewhat moderated, is 55 million,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.
The Bank of Nova Scotia in Canada has said in a report that SVG’s debt under PetroCaribe is almost EC$1 billion.
Gonsalves said that while SVG owes Venezuela EC$155.23 million under PetroCaribe, his government has actually lent out EC$146.6 million of that sum “because of the other we have donation; we have some donations.”
“We have disbursements, like the Lowmans Bay housing, operating and administrative expenses and cash resources in the bank is almost five million dollars in the bank balances,” Gonsalves said.